Friday, December 25, 2020

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Join DHAS Today


Is it coming down to the wire for that gift for the Aunt or Uncle who is always saying " I remember when Delmar Had...."  Well maybe a membership to The Delmar Historical and Arts Society (DHAS) is the answer.  For twelve dollar a year you can let that person join other Delmar people who say "Remember when Delmar had ..." 

 We meet at the Delmar Police Department Training room at 7PM the second Thursday of each month.  The cost to be a member is twelve dollars a year.  Membership runs January to December.   If you are interested send a twelve dollar check made out to Delmar Historical and Arts Society PO Box 551, Delmar DE 19940.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

1918 Flu influence verse

                                                                           I had a little bird,

And its name was Enza.

I opened the window

And in-flu-enza.

– Children’s jump rope rhyme, ca. 1918

Saturday, December 12, 2020

New Color


new paint color for the old movie theater

Monday, December 7, 2020

At Least One Person from Delmar was at Pearl harbor


Just a link to a person from Delmar who was at Pearl Harbor

President Trump's National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2020

 Proclamation on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2020

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Christmas movies and Videos


It is that time of year again when you search for the old 8mm movies from the 1940s and 50s that you converted to VHS tape and then to DVD’s.  Even in 2020 there will be some people visiting you can show them to.  In 1965 Kodak came out with Super 8 movie camera and film, a big improvement over the 8MM. One of the prime movies taking time was Christmas, a time when everyone came over on Christmas day and bragged about what they got for Christmas.  It was time you would capture a number of your Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents on camera visiting with your family.  In looking at the movies I am always surprised how everyone smoked, the room would be cloudy over with smoke.  There was always that one Aunt you would see running from the camera as she didn’t want to be photographed. The 8MM movie was less than 5 minutes long and in shooting it you had to swap the film over half way through as the film was really 16mm wide and you shot on both sides of the film to get an 8MM roll of film. Of course you also had a key on the side to wind the camera up to shot.  Because the film was so short you rarely spent much time homing in on a person.  It had to a special thing to get more than 30 seconds of film time; new baby, a wedding, a birthday, etc.

When VHS tapes came out in the 1980s you had a longer time to shoot, didn’t cost you anymore to spend 5 minutes on a subject than it cost to spend 30 seconds on someone.   Now you can embarrass your son or daughter by showing movies of them when they were young even if they are approaching social security age now.  

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Christmas cards from the Bethlehem Post Office

 A tradition that, fortunately, continues to this day, mailing Christmas cards from the Bethlehem Post Office with its special Christmas cachet. This image from 1981 captured Postmaster Aaron Carroll keeping busy that Christmas season. Help keep the tradition alive by mailing your Christmas cards from the Bethlehem Post Office this year!

Visit Preston Historical Society this Saturday, December 5th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, for our 7th Annual Christmas House and view an exhibit to learn more about the history of the Bethlehem Post Office. Santa will be in attendance as well, and live Christmas music will be provided by Gina McConnell,
Janice Isenberg
, and Joyce Cohee. There will also be train displays running, and baked goods and gift items will be available for purchase. Masks are a must, as well as social distancing, when visiting.

Dr Annie Colley, Dentist


an ad from the Salisbury Advertiser 1899

If you were to read a Salisbury newspaper about 1900 you would see an ad or maybe several ads in it for Dr Annie Colley, Dentist.  She advertised extensively.  At a time when dental work was frequently done at home by the wife of the family perhaps she needed to advertise. 

above 1907 ad

She worked in Salisbury from about 1899 to 1911.  She came to Salisbury with her husband, Dr Robert “Kyle” Colley.  Dr Kyle Colley (1858-1900) had married Annie in 1883.  They were both from Caroline County Maryland.  He attended the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College and graduated in 1885.  He had a practice in Queen Anne County before moving to Salisbury in 1899. 

Both of their practices were in the Jay William Law Building opposite the courthouse.

In just a little over a year Dr Kyle Colley would be dead from Brights disease (a kidney disease).

above from the Salisbury Advertiser Feb 17 1900

He left Dr. Annie to carry on with her two daughters. 

Anna “Annie” Frances Whiteley was born to Wm Henry Whiteley and Mary Pierce Whiteley in 1862.  She would marry Dr R. Kyle Colley in 1883 and have her first daughter, Mary, in 1886.  Her second daughter, Ethel, would arrive in 1888.  They lived in Queen Anne County Maryland at the time.  When she was about 34 she begins to attend the Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery, graduating in 1897.

The Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery started in 1856 and was a competitor of the Philadelphia Dental College.  It graduated it's first woman dentist in 1869 and after that each graduating class would have one or more women graduating as Dentist.  It is interesting that John Henry Doc Holliday noted gambler, dentist, and gunfighter of the old west was a 1872 graduate of the college.

After the death of her husband she stayed on in Salisbury.  Both of her daughters graduated from Salisbury High School and became teachers.  In 1911 she moved from Salisbury to New Jersey where she was the dentist for the New Jersey Hospital for the Insane at Greystone Park. 

The building is often feature on abandoned building websites

Dr Annie Colley would end up living with both of her daughters in New Jersey.  She would die in 1935 and be buried at the Sudlersville cemetery alongside her husband. 

Mary K Colley would graduate Salisbury High School in 1904.  She would become a teacher and end up at Westfield  high school where she would teach business courses until retiring in 1948.  She would come back to Salisbury in 1954 to attend the 1904 class reunion.  She would die about 1971.

1935 yearbook photo of Mary Colley from Westfield High School

Ethel Roberts Colley would graduate Salisbury High School in 1904.  She would teach in Salisbury and in 1913 move to Pennsylvania to teach.  She too would end up in New Jersey as a teacher.  She would die in 1973. 

1906 yearbook clipping

1913 article

Both daughters would remain single and with their deaths would end this family tree branch for the Colley and Whiteley family.  It is unknown where Mary and Ethel are buried.


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020



uniform size box 10 x10x 4 1/2 and weight 11 pounds                                      

Better known as the Red Cross Box, the American Red Cross Prisoner Of War Food Package NO 10, was sent to American POWs in whatever country they were in during WW2.  Those prisoners in Europe such as Sgt Thomas Mirando of Delmar fared better in receiving the package then Sgt George Kerekesh and Pvt Millard C Smith, both of Delmar, who were in Japan occupied territory.  In many cases the Germen let the POWs have the entire box, in other cases they would only let them have the candy and cigarettes and keep the rest for the prison cookhall where they were combined with the German POW food.  The Japanese rarely let the POWS have anything.

100,000 boxes a month were filled in Philadelphia  and shipped to Geneva Switzerland where they were distributed across Europe.   Some packages were shipped and stored at Vladivostock and stored on site until Japanese vessels picked them up for possible distribution to prison camps in Asia.

Letter from William H Jopp of Denton, Maryland POW in Germany

Dear Mother,

Well, it is your turn to get a letter although there isn't much to write about.  I hope you and Daddy are ok. The only thing I can think to write about now is the Red Cross parcel we get every week and today is the day.  We get 1 can of corned beef, can of minced pork (lunch meat) 1 box of cheese, 4 to 6 packs of smokes, 1 can butter, 1 can of liver paste, 1 can powder milk, 2 candy bars, 1 can of orange juice, 1 can salmon, 1 box of crackers, 1 box sugar cubes, 1 box of prunes, or raisins, 2 small bars soap, and 1 can coffee. It sure is a nice box. With this box and the German rations I can make out all right. We have plenty books to read. I will write again next week,


 From the Denton Journal 10 Mar 1944

Thursday, November 26, 2020

1909 Thanksgiving Song


The Colfax Gazette, Washington, November 19, 1909

1941 Thanksgiving Football


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

1929 Thanksgiving Parachute Jump


Mickey ‘Bat’ Efferson, A noted wing walker and parachutist of the period.  He seemed to have been several people; one was the version he gave to the press and the other was what documents would show. He gave his name as Michael Patrick Ryan Efferson and used different versions of the name during his lifetime.  Regardless of his name you can not take away the daring he displayed and the adventures he had. 

He says he has been jumping since 1919 and Efferson, according to his account, had worked with Ivan R. Gates Flying Circus in 1927 as one of the Diavolos.  Ivan Gates would prepare advance posters for each town they would be visiting.  The posters would name the star stunt man and in a period of a year several of them died performing which meant the posters had to be reprinted at a loss of money.  Gates decide who every the stuntman was he would be called El Diavolo (The Devil) and that way he would not have to reprint posters if they died on him.  Gates also was the first to only charge a dollar a ride to the public and some days he (or his flyers) would make $2,000 a day.

above 1927

His account says he was born in Brady, Texas, his marriage licenses says he was born in Syracuse, New York. He said he was in WW1 and always maintained a soldier of fortune attitude.  He selected Wilmington as his home and base of operations in the late 1920s and into the early 1930’s.  From Wilmington he would fly across the country performing shows.

In 1930 he married Mildred Hitch (1909-1990) who was from Greenwood.  They did it in a Bellanca six seater aircraft while flying over Wilmington, Delaware.  Allison Buck was the pilot and the Rev. Ralph Minker officiated. By 1934 she had filed for divorce.  She would later marry Harry T. E. Schechinger.

Efferson would be in Tampa Florida in the 1930s for the Tampa Times newspaper selling ad space. He went by the name Mike Ryan while there. In 1941 he joined the Royal Air Force Ferry Command and was in Gander Newfoundland.  Later in the 1940s he would work for the Tampa Times and run his airplane business of Effeson and Associates, which bough surplus planes and parts.

above 1942

In 1949 he married Esther Gertrude Murray in Washington DC using the name Michael Efferson.  A few weeks later in April he died in a hospital in Washington.  It is unknown where he is buried. 

1953 Acme Store Prices


1941 Thanksgiving Dance at The Cosy Cabin


Monday, November 23, 2020

The Erie Railroad 160 ton wreck crane

The United Railroad Historical Society of NJ recently posted a photo of inside the Wreck train crane they have rebuilt.  Delmar did not have this model but it did have a wreck train unit with crane stationed here in Delmar.

 see their facebook page for videos of it in action 

From their page 

Exciting news: Our Erie Railroad 160-Ton wreck crane can now be counted among our operating artifacts in Boonton Yard! This project was a labor of love by one of our volunteer mechanics, Erik Stenzel, who has been rebuilding components in his home shop over the past year. Check out his startup and operating demo in this video.

No. 03125 was built in 1926 by Bucyrus as a steam-powered crane. In the late 50s, the Erie converted it to diesel, and it now runs on a 6-cylinder Caterpillar D327. Rather than an electric starter, it has a pony start, which is a 2-cylinder gasoline engine that warms and starts the diesel. In this video, you’ll first hear the smaller (and much louder) pony motor before seeing the exhaust from the big motor.

Winter Vegetable Storage

 With Thanksgiving arriving everyone prior to 1950 was busy getting ready for winter.  Livestock is slaughtered, firewood and coal is stored, the final crops are harvested, the windows on the house are chinked with newspapers to stop the draft.  Since cellars and thusly root cellars are rare on Delmarva due to the high water level, a variety of root vegetables for the family winter use and for livestock feed were stored outside in kilns (clamps, tumps, etc the name widely varied).  Vegetables such as apples, white potatoes (sweet potatoes were always stored in heated potato houses), celery, turnips, carrots, beets, and cabbages would be stored in these kilns.  Some farmers would have several kilns because different vegetables (cabbages, apple, celery) would not be stored together due to the ethylene gas they produce, smell or moisture.

The construction of the kiln and the placement of the vegetables in the kiln was highly personal based on the family creating it.  Each family felt their way was best.  The basic kiln however was a clear spot of land that straw or pine shats were put down in a layer, then a layer of vegetable placed on that, followed by another layer of straw, followed by more vegetables until a cone shape pile was created.  The pile would then be coved in straw, pine shats and/ or fodder plus an outside layer of dirt.  The center of the pile would just be straw or cover by a slab of rock or tarp to allow for ventilation of the pile.

Bob Jones facebook page Worcester County History had a writeup by Estel Holland on making a kiln, again different from my description but as i said every family did it different.

Storage in the earth: Another thing Daddy used to do in the early fall was build a kiln."" This was done by digging a hole in the ground, approximately four by four feet, maybe 18 to 20 inches deep — not too deep because water could spring in. The pit would be lined with old boards or old tin, tin being best because that would help keep the rodents out. After this was done, you would line the kiln really well with pine shats. After this was done, you would store your cabbage, turnips, and potatoes — usually red skins for they kept better. Cover the top with more boards, leaving a opening in the side for a small door so you could reach in and take out your vegetables as needed. You would pile dirt on your kiln, approximately 1 to 2 feet deep, surrounding all of it except for your little door. This would keep your vegetables from freezing in the winter. You would usually build your kiln near the house so if the weather turned bad with snow, ice, or extreme cold — you never had to walk too far. Other parts of the country have more elaborate systems than this, and are often called root cellars. We kept sweet potatoes, sometimes apples, in a vacant room upstairs near the chimney.

1926 Coal from E E Freeny


coal sizes

Name of size Diameter of mesh

Broken 4-1/2
Egg 3-7/16
Stove 2-1/2
ChestNUT 1-9/16
Pea 1-1/16
Buckwheat 1 ½
Buckwheat 2 ¼

Big size hotter burns faster. Small size not as hot burns longer.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

1977 Delmar High School Library Aides


Sunday Dinner at German and Bryan


On June 1, 1927  Fannie German and Julia Bryan (sisters) open a restaurant in the Stone House called "German and Bryan".   They were daughters of Levin Lowe and Mary Ellen Waller Lowe.   Fannie German was Mrs. Mary Frances German (1865 -1941) and Julia Bryan ( -1937) was her sister and she was married to George Bryan. Referred to as Aunt Fannie, Fannie German was well known to the railroad people that rented her rooms and ate at her restaurant.   Fannie German had been married twice; once to William Thomas Gillis and second to Harvey German.


Princess Anne, March 18 Funeral services for Mrs. Mary Frances German, who died here Sunday at 5 P. M March 16, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Byrd, will be conducted at 3 P. M., Thursday from the First Baptist Church, Delmar, Del. The Rev. L. A. Thomas, pastor of the church, will be in charge of the services.

The deceased, a native of Delmar, was born March 12, 1865. She was the daughter of the late, Mary Elizabeth Waller and Levin Lowe of Delmar. She was a charter member of the Delmar Baptist Church, members of the Trainmen's Auxiliary, and a member of Daughters of Liberty. She entered the restaurant business in Delmar in 1912. Later she operated the Stone House Hotel with her sister under the trade name of German and Bryan.

Mrs. German had been living with her daughter here for the past, seven years.

She was well known on the Delmarva Peninsula and she was known as "Aunt Fannie" to a large circle of P. R. R. trainmen, who patronized her business establishments, and who were included in her large host of friends.

She is survived by three children: Mrs. Mary E. Byrd of Princess Anne, Mrs. John J Feehan of Denver, Colorado, and Mrs. E. W. Dozier of Philadelphia, Pa. Two sisters, Mrs. Nettie Williams of Delmar and Mrs. Ida Ellis of Bristol, Pa.; also nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren also survive.

She was twice married; William Thomas Gillis, and Harvey German, respectively.

Above from The Salisbury Times 18 March 1941